Following on from yesterday’s jelly making escapades, I had a load of fruit pulp from the Japanese quince to use up. I always try to use up the fruit pulp leftover from making jelly, and frequently make fruit butters, or even add them into a pie.
Japanese quince is perfect for this kind of repurposing, and you can make all manner of things, like pies, crumbles, stewed fruit, and many other things. Had I found these earlier on in the year, I may have been tempted to use the pulped fruit in a mincemeat of some kind, but I will probably experiment with that later. I could also have made a sweetmeat, like the membrillo I made last year.
However, this quince needed to be transportable, so I decided upon jam, since it had to get lugged all the way back to the Netherlands and needed not to leak into our luggage.
In keeping with the Persian theme, I wanted to spice the quince with flavours from the Middle East. I decided upon cardamom and cloves, to give it heat. A lapse of concentration also meant that a teaspoon or so of cinnamon also found its way in there, but it’s none the worse for it.
This jam is sweet, although not as sweet as it could be. I used a bit less sugar than the standard 1:1 ratio of the traditional set jam. I had the pectin from the fruit, and the bag of seeds in any case, and I wanted it to be more spicy than sweet. I think the spice mix would also have worked well had I decided to make a membrillo with it.
The only unfortunate thing is that Japanese quince do not turn the beautiful red that ordinary quince become after a long cooking time, so this is a rather brown jam, but it is no less tasty for it. Like the jelly, this will also be good in stews and gravies, but this will work better with lamb, and chickpeas.
Recipe: Spiced Japanese Quince Jam
Jam jars with lids
Boiled Japanese quince pulp, once drained of liquid
Seeds from the quince, tied up in muslin
Sugar (in the ratio 3:4 with the pulp)
Water (equal weight to the fruit pulp)
5 cardamom pods
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon or one cinnamon stick
While the fruit is still warm, after boiling, pass it through a sieve, so that any skin and remaining pips are retained by the sieve, and you only have fruit pulp left. You will probably need to push it through with a wooden spoon.
Sterilise the jam jars and lids, in a dishwasher, in a low oven or in a pressure cooker.
Weigh your pulp. I got 400 g of fruit pulp from mine. Then you need 3 parts granulated sugar to four parts fruit, so I measured out 300 g of sugar.
Put the seeds in muslin that you used to produce the jelly into the pan with the fruit pulp, sugar, and equal weight of water. Tie the spices up in more muslin, or in the same piece of muslin as the seeds if it is big enough. If you are using ground cinnamon, add this straight into the pulp and mix in well.
Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved completely and then bring it up to a rolling boil. Again, the jam will set when it reaches 104.5°C, or passes the fridge test.
As soon as the jam reaches setting point, sterilise any ladles, jugs or jam funnels you are going to use with boiling water.
Pour the jam into the jars, and fill it to within 2mm of the top. This jam is quite thick, so give it a bang if you can to dispel any air bubbles. Put wax discs on the top, with the wax side down, and seal with the lids while the jam is still hot.